Nomadikon: New Ecologies of the Image

February 20, 2013

Nomadikon is an inter-disciplinary research centre for the visual arts which, through the project New Ecologies of the Image (2008-2012) is examining a number of interrelated phenomena in the new, digital visual arts.

The project focuses particularly on controversial forms of visuality – image wars, iconoclasm, the aestheticising of suffering, and conflict-creating and conflict-mitigating images – as well as the aesthetic implications and socio-cultural meanings which are generated through the circulation and continual transformation of these forms in and by the media in the public domain. The group’s research work takes place at the meeting point between analysis and interpretation of specific bodies of images and the development of theoretical perspectives which take account of the new hermeneutic conditions which the digital culture introduces.

The project explores how our perception is affected by the contemporary media sphere, how social value and cultural subjectivity are encoded through visual representations, how we relate to the digital as a new scopic regime, and how processes of convergence in the visual media produce transmedia expressions which require a new visual aesthetic. Contributing to the formulation of an ethic and aesthetic for the new visual ecologies is one of the project’s main tasks. New Ecologies of the Image comprise five individual sub-projects (see below), an international staff and a global network of researchers within such fields as visual culture, film science, media science and art history. The project has also launched a new scientific journal, Ekfrase: Nordisk Tidsskrift for Visuell Kultur, founded by managing editors Asbjørn Grønstad and Øyvind Vågnes.

The research team:
Nomadikon’s research team is made up of a project manager, two postdoctoral research fellows and two PhD research assistants.

  • Asbjørn Grønstad, project manager. Returned to Bergen from the University of Stavanger where he was the country’s first professor of visual culture. Project: Cinema and the Unwatchable: Film and the Negation of Pleasure. Started in August 2008.
  • Øyvind Vågnes, postdoctoral research fellow. Came from the Dept. of Information and Media Science, University of Bergen. Project: Images From the Dark Side: Picturing the War on Terror. Started in August 2008.
  • Henrik Gustafsson, postdoctoral research fellow. Came from the Dept. Of Film Science, University of Stockholm. Project: Ruin and Resurrection: Terrestrial Imagination and the Afterlife of Landscape. Started in August 2009.
  • Tonje H. Sørensen, PhD student. Came from the Dept. of Art History, University of Bergen. Project: Remembering a Different Norway: The Creation, Transmission and Hegemony of the Visual Memory Culture Concerning the Narrative of the Nazi Occupation of Norway. Started in February 2009.
  • A new PhD student will join in the summer of 2010.
Name: Asbjørn Grønstad
Age: 36 years
PhD: Dr.Art., University of Bergen, 2003.
Citizenship: Norwegian
Department: Department of Information and Media Science, Faculty of Social Science.
Grant from BFS: 7.564.581 NOK
Additional funding: 7.564.581 NOK
Start / End: 2008-2012
Web: Link to project webpage

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